There is a reason they call ibuprofen vitamin I. Sometimes it essential nutrition. And it works.

Start the Day in Water Shoes

I know the grass will be wet with dew this morning. I know I have a water crossing in the first 200 yards or trail today. Two reasons to put on wet shoes and socks this morning.

Putting on cold shoes and socks is never fun. It is doubly not fun when you have blisters. But at least they are not soaking wet.

I don’t get rolling until about 7:30 today. I have been avoiding that first plunge of the day. It is deep enough that the shoes get a full dunking. They are loaded with mud, too.

The dew from the grass is actually cleaning the shoes as I walk. The blister is not hurting at all. The tendon is still a little better but the cool water makes it stiffer.

After an hour, I exit this section of water management district land and begin another road walk. I stop to switch to the dry shoes. By now the tendon is warmed up and actually feels pretty good.

The road walk is on a small road and only lasts a few miles. Now I am entering a larger section which will take me to a new section – the Kissimmee Preserve State Park. This park requires an admission fee and paid backcountry camping sites. I have to pay tomorrow as I hike past the park office.

Better follow all the park rules.

Dry Shoes

The land here is dryer, and I can stay in my dry shoes most of the time. I think I switched to the water shoes or went barefoot only five or six times today. This is progress.

The tendon is a little bit sore still, but much better than yesterday. As long as I don’t flex it more than 90 degrees, it is good. This means more careful foot placement is required.

One of the highlights for today was walking past a spring that had been capped off and a hole drilled in the cap. It made a water fountain that looks like it is coming out of a tree. There are also some sour citrus trees around.

A water fountain just six feet off the trail in the middle of nowhere.

Another Hiker at Last

The final highlight of the day was running across another they hiker today. He started the day before me and is probably the same hiker I almost met on the dikes around lake Okeechobee. Small world.

He just finished the PCT three months ago. He plans to finish the Florida Trail and then jump out and do the Arizona Trail. Quite ambitious I am a little jealous.

We are both heading to the park office tomorrow. He is going to camp there. I will probably only take a shower then move on.

We both make camp at a campsite about six or eight miles from the office. There is a hand pump at this site. It is the first functioning hand pump I have found yet on the trail. I filter the water out of habit but it looks like it would be good to drink straight.

The first functioning hand pump I have encountered on the trail so far.

Emotion of the Day

Today is definitely relieved.

I am relieved that the blister is under control. I am relieved that the tendon is much improved today. I am relieved that ibuprofen is working. I am relieved to be able to hike a full day today. I am relieved that I am not the only one hiking this trail.